Monday, August 20, 2007

Call Center Point of Sale

Over the last 20 years I have been involved with a number projects involving point of sale UIs for call center agents. Going back to my days with United Airlines when Casto Travel was the first installation on the West Coast for the, at that time new Apollo Focalpoint UI, to recent projects with, and Vail Resorts, I have continued to be disappointed that call center travel technology still lags behind both online UIs and non-travel call center apps. Too often, common wisdom has pushed any call center development effort to the back burner in favor of direct consumer online efforts. The problem with this approach, is a lack of understanding of off-line's role in support of complex online transactions. Another inhibiting factor is the traditional limitations of Web-based interfaces verses robust Windows-based desktop tools. Now that we've seen the formal introduction of AJAX or FLASH in the consumer online travel arena, let's hope similar use of these Web 2.0 tools makes it way to the agent's desktop.